Wildflour Bakery/Cafe Gluten Free Sweets Are A Gluten Free Mommy-To-Be’s Best Friend

No gluten free pregnancy would be complete without an indulgence in some gluten free pastries. Honestly, all pregnancy we haven’t taken too many trips to my all time favorite and really only all gluten free bakery/cafe in the area. So last week while in route running errands the other day I decided to stop in and treat myself to a couple of new sweets. 

If you’ve never been and are in the area you absolutely have to check out Wildflour Bakery/Cafe. They offer tons of different gluten free treats from sweet and savory crepes and sandwiches to smoothies and tons of different desserts, check out their full menu to get the whole picture. I personally always have a hard time choosing which items I’ll try that day, mostly because you’ll never see those items again anywhere else. For this particular stop in I decided to of course start with my favorites, the Gluten Free Pink Smoothie along with some Gluten Free Brazilian Cheese Puffs. Needless to say these didn’t survive too long post purchase but I have managed to snap some pictures of these in the past so make sure you check them out. The Pink Smoothie is just delicious and didn’t bother my acid reflux too badly, or maybe that was the cheese puffs that helped out, either way I was a happy mommy drinking down my strawberry banana and almond milk smoothie. But the star of every one of my visits to Wildflour are the Brazilian Cheese Puffs which are light and airy, moist and cheesy, and just a perfect bread treat that is so uncharacteristic of typical gluten free breads. 

Wildflour Bakery/Cafe Treats

Wildflour Bakery/Cafe Gluten Free Treats

Okay, so I obviously indulged in some of my regular snacks but what did I try out that was newer? Well, I did manage to snag two other sweets that I hadn’t seen there in awhile, the Gluten Free Cheesecake Brownie, cheesecake portions swirled through a delicious brownie, and a Gluten Free Chocolate Cream Puff, fluffy puff pastry stuffed with sweet cream and covered in chocolate which I’ve reviewed before. Both were equally as delicious and brought many smiles for the days that followed.  

The last three desserts were new to me so since I don’t get to the bakery too often I decided to pick them up and try them out for blogging purposes of course. Can I just say that each and every single one of these desserts were divine. Starting on the left is a gigantic Gluten Free Apple Turnover that was so light and doughy and stuffed with just enough, but not too many, cinnamon apples. While the filling was superb, what always surprises me with every tasty treat from the bakery is just how perfect the breads and pastries are. They’re spot on with just how the regular version of their treats should be in both texture and taste and we all know that’s no easy feat for a gluten free anything.

Next up was the Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bar which was absolute perfection. Light and fluffy cheesecake with chocolate chips scattered throughout, you can’t get any better than that. And lastly, the Gluten Free Strawberry Tart, a pastry tart filled with vanilla pastry cream and topped with fresh strawberries, a great treat for this Spring and Summer. The tart was moist and held together perfectly to envelope the sweet, but not too sweet, cream and strawberry filling.

Thanks to this impromptu visit, myself and baby were happy for many days to come. Quite honestly, by first glance I probably could’ve finished off several of these much more quickly but I paced myself to spread out the goodness and I’m so glad I did. A huge thank you goes out to Wildflour’s for consistently making me one of the happiest gluten free mommies in the area. Can’t wait until my next visit!

Sincerely,

Lindsay (33 weeks) 

33 Weeks & Counting: Confessions Of A Mommy-To-Be Who’s About To Welcome Baby #2!

We’re finally in the home stretch! We’ve turned the corner and we’re nestled snugly into our third trimester with tons of excitement but just as much nerves. In about a month and a half we’ll finally get to meet this little person that’s been playing soccer in my belly all of these months. Our little girl will finally become the long awaited big sister that she’s probably grown quite curious about. And we as a family will finally become a family of four (plus one furry little girl). So much change is coming and while we’ve spent months dreaming, planning, and anticipating that moment, the nerves that go along with the big finale seem to grow as my weeks do. 

Let me clarify, of course I’m nervous about her actual delivery which is a whole other post by itself, but what we’re most nervous about is finally becoming the family of four that we’ve wanted for so long. Adding more babies to the mix is always nerve-wracking for so many reasons, whether it’s the first, second, or fifth, a new life is coming your way in the form of a new baby and a new family will take shape. Ever since before Dan and I were married we talked about having a family, I of course was up for four or five babies, my dream large family, and Dan was stuck around the 2 or 3 range, but either way there was no doubt that we wanted babies down the road. Once we were married we took our time, went on some adventures, traveled, and created some memories with our fur baby, really enjoying our new time as a married couple and building an even stronger us before babies came into the picture. Finally as we approached our two year anniversary we knew it was time to start growing our family and God blessed us with our first little girl.

Even though we were excited that we were expecting our first baby and that we’d finally start the family we’d always wanted we were nervous beyond belief just like all first time parents are. And now we find ourselves in an all too familiar spot as we did about three years ago, feeling incredibly excited with a mix of nervous but for completely different reasons than before. We have the tune of parenting down pretty well now and we know what to expect on that end, at least until 2 1/2 years old, but what we’re most nervous about this time around is the transition from the three of us to the four of us and I don’t mean the logistics of it all. I’m not at all nervous about juggling two kids instead of one but I guess what I’m most excited but yet most nervous about is the actual act of becoming four instead of three.

We’re so excited to love another little baby and give that gift to our little girl but whenever you make that humongous decision to grow your family from one to two and beyond I think it’s natural to worry if you’ll be able to spread yourself out enough for all of them equally. My heart is certainly large enough to love two children and beyond, no doubt there, but there’s so much to raising your children than just loving them. Coming into this marriage as the third of three children and my husband as the second of two children we’re well aware of what it’s like to have some older siblings come before us, the pros and the cons. I always worry that Baby #2 will feel like they didn’t get their special time with Mommy and Daddy or that everything always was split between her and her sister. 

Having siblings is tough and can be really challenging at times but it can be one of the biggest blessings in the world and that’s what our wish is for our girls. My hope for my girls is that Dan and I do the best job that we can do as their parents, always making sure that they feel special in their own way, that they have their own individual lives filled with their own personalities and likes and dislikes, and that they always turn to us and to each other for love and support just as we intended from each of their births on. 

We’re so in love with both of our girls already and are just basking in the glow of the impending birth, becoming a family of four has been everything I’ve dreamed about for months and it’s almost upon us. I hope my big girl falls just as much in love with her sister when she sees herself as we have since we found about her. I hope our furry little girl loves her just as much as she loves her bigger sister. Most importantly I know that our family will continue to grow our love just as we do everyday, never letting one day pass without realizing just how blessed we are to have each other. 

No matter how nervous I am about the big delivery day or recovery after or making sure both of my girls feel Mommy’s love equally, those nerves will never overwhelm the tremendous amount of excitement that mounts every single day that passes. I truly cannot wait to see this little one, feel her in my arms, kiss and hug her for the first time and hundreds beyond, and my favorite of all, hold her close to my heart where she’ll never leave and we’ll forever share that special bond like I have with her sister. In just a matter of a few single digit weeks our littlest girl could make her debut, but until then I’ll keep dreaming about her!

Sincerely,

Lindsay (37 weeks) 

Wedding Season Is Upon Us, But How Do You Handle Them When You’re Gluten Free?

As Spring rolled in so did the season of weddings which we welcomed with two back to back. The weather was gorgeous, the main event was romantic and memorable, and the company was even better, but as any wedding participant or guest can attest the food is a huge part of a wedding. Almost five years ago, wow can’t believe we’ll be celebrating our five year wedding anniversary next month, I remember planning the festivities for our own wedding like it was yesterday. Even though I was really sick those days I was pre-gluten free so I thoroughly enjoyed the pre-wedding tastings and wedding day of bits and pieces that I managed to gobble down. Since then, we’ve attended numerous weddings, all of which have been since going gluten free, so sadly I’m very familiar with the protocol for attending a non-gluten free wedding, as most are. 

Weddings, weddings, weddings, how can you navigate them gluten free?

Weddings, weddings, weddings, how can you navigate them gluten free?

Since I started my gluten free adventures we’ve attended six or more weddings, five of which I’ve been pregnant for and all of which have been equipped with mountains of mouth watering foods that were strictly off limits to me. Leading up to each of the events I always have the same anxieties, hours of just watching everyone around you gobble down food only to wonder if the venue will at least be able to accommodate your dietary needs for the main course? This experience is hard enough when you’re just gluten free but when you’re gluten free and pregnant it’s even more difficult to endure the sights and smells of tons of non-gluten free foods for hours on end. Now, is eating at a wedding impossible for us gluten free folks? I’m happy to report that I’ve never left one wedding without eating at least something, but you certainly have to harness that will power of yours, come with a full belly, and plaster a permanent smile on your face as trays of steaming hot horderves pass you. To help you along your way this wedding season, I’m here to offer a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up through the years. 

Surviving The Cocktail Hour

Okay, so this is a toughy. I’m not a huge drinker but I do like a glass of wine or champagne which unfortunately for me has been off limits as well for a majority of the weddings we’ve attended making cocktail hour even tougher. But for this chunk of time there are a few things that you can do. What I always do is eat a dinner of sorts before we go to the wedding, if the timing is appropriate, so I’m not really hungry when it’s time for cocktail hour. This time around it was salad central before both weddings which tided me over for a short time, but for some reason it didn’t buy me much time probably because of that little bump I had going on. 

Along with a pre-wedding dinner, you can also scurry into the cocktail hour as soon as possible and survey the tables of food. I tend to stay away from most everything because of cross contamination, especially once a lot of people start serving themselves, but if you manage to get there early on see if you can spot a fresh vegetable, fruit, or cheese table. All of the fruits and veggies of course would be perfect for you, sans touching by too many guests later on, and the cheeses might be okay too, you can always try checking with some of the staff. As far as the rest of the food though, most if not all will be off limits, so make sure you grab your favorite cocktail, circulate the crowd, and fill your plate up early with lots of fresh treats and enjoy!

The Dreaded Sit Down Dinner At The Reception 

So I’m sure you remember that little attendance/meal selection card that you returned just weeks prior to the wedding. It might seem presumptuous to think that the wedding venue might be able to accommodate your dietary needs but keep this in mind, they do these large events every day with scores of guests coming through with all kinds of needs so chances are you might be in luck. However, as with every event, you’re better off giving some advanced notice of your needs if possible and this meal selection card is your chance. I simply mark the meal I would like sans gluten and just note gluten free on there as well, which in most cases is repeated back to me by our server once we’re seated at our table in the reception, a great feeling that they at least are aware of a special need. At this point I would always request to speak with a manager so you can review your meal options for the rest of the reception, especially your main entree. Don’t be afraid to do this, trust me you’ll be hungry enough to check your shyness at the door and make sure you have some safe food options. 

Mommy, Daddy, and Baby #2 celebrating a new marriage!

Mommy, Daddy, and Baby #2 celebrating a new marriage!

Next up, be prepared to sit silently through the first few courses before your entree arrives. I know, not what you wanted to hear but there’s a strong possibility that the salad dressing may have flour in it (which you can always order dry but that’s not my cup of tea), the pasta of course is chock full of gluten and they may not have a gluten free option, and that roll that they plopped down in front of you, well that goes without saying that it’s strictly off limits. However, don’t be discouraged, after talking to the manager at several weddings I’ve successfully had delicious salads, sometimes custom made for just me, gluten free pasta courses, and delicious entrees at the end, you just want to make sure you review your options early on in the meal. If some of these aren’t options then it’s time to go with Plan B, always always always bring your own snacks.

For every single wedding I never bank on the venue being able to give me dinner so I always make sure that I have plenty of food to get me through the long night. Some of my favorite go to snacks are a bag of Chex, granola bar, cookies or pretzels, fresh fruit or veggies sliced up, and especially right now while I’m pregnant, a little candy here and there. Is it the most fun thing in the world to carry a larger bag stuffed with baggies of gluten free goodies that you then have to whip out during your sit down meal while everyone else is gobbling down their plated meals? Of course not, and do I feel a little bit like a picky kid at the dinner table? Yes. But hey who cares, as long as you’re eating and able to enjoy everything else at the wedding thanks to a full belly, who cares how it gets full anyway.     

Social situations are always a challenge when you follow a different diet than the majority of the world around you. You can live gluten free in your own cocoon easy enough sure, but when it comes time to venture out into the world and experience non-gluten free situations then we’re reminded of just how much the world isn’t quite made for you. Eating is tough enough but the social challenge of attending an event and not eating or interrogating every staff member around you about the gluten status of a dish doesn’t make you feel like you’re the most attractive guest on the planet. But until there’s an epic evolution overnight where the entire world adopts a gluten free lifestyle, those who live the gluten free life have no choice but to make do and take chances everywhere we go.  

So are wedding still beautiful, romantic, and wonderful events for Dan and I to have some alone time? Of course, but they have lost some of their luster for me since going gluten free, at least from the aspect of looking forward to tons of tasty food. However, thanks to many a knowledgeable wedding venue and staff, I haven’t yet starved through a wedding so there’s hope on the horizon for a gluten free food filled wedding, okay well a girl can dream can’t she. 

Sincerely,

Lindsay (32 weeks)

The Magic Of A Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is one of those holidays that holds an extra special place in my heart ever since I became a mother of our cute little fur baby. That’s right my dear husband would celebrate my mother status even then, but hey I’ve always looked at our furry little girl as so much more than just our dog. As the years passed though we finally began to expand our family with this cute little girl, validating my mother status once and for all. And while celebrating all of the mothers surrounding me has been beyond special, there’s nothing like joining in the festivities as a mother in your own right. 

Mother's Day 2015

Mother’s Day 2015

Being able to join the ranks of being a mother along side my own is an honor. I’m one of those daughters who have always looked at my mom as my best friend, always spending time with her, confiding in her, and enjoying the ups and downs of life with her. As I’ve grown and now started my own little family, that relationship has never faltered, I still look to my mom for those best friend qualities but now with so much more admiration as a mother of my own. I’ve always admired her as a mother of course, always having put her three kids needs above her own, spending time with each and every one of us in our own special way, creating memories that we’ll remember until we’re old and gray, but most importantly teaching us what being a good parent should like. I’ve known all of these things all of these years, but now as a mother of my own little girl/s I’ve developed an even greater level of appreciation for her, which I think is only possible when you truly become a parent of your own. Since I’ve only just begun my time as a parent, I can only hope that I do just as good a job with my own little girls.

32 Weeks

32 Weeks

Becoming a mother changed my world in more ways than I can ever explain and I thank God for that beautiful gift. My little girl and second little one on the way (along with Dan of course) are my entire world, with my heart constantly revolving around them and falling more in love as the days pass. My life today is exactly what I’d always dreamed it would be, and thanks to that husband of mine and my two little girls I get to celebrate Mother’s Day not only honoring my own mother beside me but also basking in the glory of my own little creations. My furry daughter and not so furry one (and one on the way) are truly my pride and joy and make being their mom an honor.  

Sisterly love

Sisterly love

So in honor of Mother’s Day this year Dan treated me to a gorgeous flower delivery of my favorite wild flowers along with a special pre-Mother’s Day gluten free dinner at Salt Creek Grille. But for the big day itself we decided on some Spring beach fun where we could watch our little girl in all of her glory, loving every single bit of the sun and sand. It was a morning that was right up her alley, playing in the sand next to Mommy, digging holes, chasing Daddy as he attempted to fly a kite, and spotting tons of baby crabs crawling around. It was the perfect way to start the Mother’s Day, made even better for my little girl with an impromptu stop at a sadly non-gluten free bakery for some delicious looking sprinkle cookies that were the icing on the cake of her morning. 

Watching my little family playing around me and feeling my little girl kicking around inside of me was the greatest Mother’s Day gift I could’ve ever asked for. It was kind of a euphoric feeling watching my husband and daughter laugh and play together with baby staying extra close to Mommy, reminding me of just how beautiful life is. I’m so lucky to have a husband who truly puts his family before himself, loving us more every single day and making sure each of us are reminded of it. I’m even luckier to have a little girl (and a furry one too) who has one of the biggest little hearts I’ve ever seen, loving every single person who comes into her life unconditionally and making sure everyone around her knows that they are loved. Being a mother to a little girl as special as her is an honor and I’m truly the luckiest woman in the world. While this year’s Mother’s Day was certainly a special one, I can’t wait to see what next years will look like with two little girls running around. Until then, I’ll be dreaming of when we all get to meet this little one floating around inside. 

Sincerely, 

Lindsay (32 weeks)

 

Our Gluten Free, 2015 Disney Vacation Wrap Up

Disney vacations are amazing in every single way. While many probably prefer a more mellow and relaxing trip, we love the hustle and bustle of Disney World and the busy schedule of fun that you have for a week, sure it’s exhausting but watching our little girl love every single moment (for the most part, excluding some of the characters here and there) is worth it. This trip was just the same, pretty exhausting, especially for this mommy-to-be, but a world of fun that we’ll all remember for many years to come. 

A mid-morning snack at Gaston's Tavern.

A mid-morning snack of a Gluten Free Lefou’s Brew at Gaston’s Tavern. 

Our last day of our vacation we always try to plan our flight towards the end of the day so we can squeeze in a little more magic and fly back when we’re all good and exhausted. This round we managed to have that exact schedule so we planned a half a day at Magic Kingdom where we could ride, snack, and lunch to our heart’s content before heading back to the freezing cold Northeast. We squeezed in some must-do rides before a mid-morning snack at Gaston’s Tavern. Dan and little one couldn’t have enjoyed the gigantic cinnamon bun anymore, I mean really who wouldn’t except someone like myself who would get tremendously sick from just licking it. Even though the cinnamon bun looked mighty tempting to my pregnant self, I steered clear of all of that gluten and went with a safe Lefou’s Brew. The apple slushie and sour passion fruit/marshmallow foam on top was perfect for me and our little girl who was chomping at the bit to try some. It was a perfectly, refreshing snack, especially since the classic Florida heat had made a triumphant return after those few chilly days earlier on in the trip. 

Not my favorite gluten free lunch at Casey's Corner.

Not my favorite gluten free lunch at Casey’s Corner.

We wandered the park, dodging in and out of air conditioned stores and fastpassed and non-fastpassed rides until early afternoon came around and it was time for a quick lunch before our big goodbye. Dan loves hot dogs and I knew that he’d really enjoy a lunch at Casey’s Corner, so even though I was a bit skeptical on the gluten free side of things here I wanted to give him one last non-gluten free treat before our departure. Little one had sadly fallen asleep in route to the restaurant so unfortunately no hot dog for her this time, but judging by my husband’s liking of his lunch he’ll probably want to revisit down the road.

I spoke with the manager once we were at the front of the line, interrogated her on the ingredients and cooking process, and finally ordered a plain hot dog with a bag of chips, not exactly what I wanted but the cheesy topping I was wishing for was off limits. Soon enough both of our lunches were ready and we managed to find our way to a standing table top outside of the restaurant. The hot dog itself was great but the roll on the other hand was far from good, it crumbled apart instantly and had a really displeasing spongy texture, pretty disappointing especially since there are better gluten free roll options out there. Sadly for me, I wouldn’t want to return here for a gluten free meal but I’ll certainly be tagging along for my other two hot dog lovers in my family. 

Bye Disney World! Until we return as a family of four!

Bye Disney World! Until we return as a family of four!

The rest of our day was filled with lots of waiting and travel so a lot less magical than how we started it. Even though it was time for us to leave, which is always the worst part of any trip, we were leaving with tons of pictures and videos so we could relive the memories for years to come with both of our little girls. Every Disney trip has been fantastic and special in its own way but this one will always hold an extra special place in our hearts as our last one as a family of three and our second little girl’s first unofficial trip to Disney nestled close to Mommy’s heart. So for now, goodbye Disney and we’ll see you when we return as a family of four!

Sincerely,

Lindsay (32 weeks) 

Nothing Like Going To Some Weddings And The Beach Gluten Free & Pregnant: A 30 & 31 Week Update!

Ah there’s nothing like attending a wedding gluten free and very pregnant, so why not go to two? Dan and I were talking the other day about the last pregnancy versus this one and I couldn’t help but point out that it seems that my pregnancies have both been perfectly timed with everyone around us getting married, seeing as I’ve only really attended weddings in my mommy-to-be status over the past few years. So this time around we’ve been invited to two weddings spanning a week and a half this Spring, both of which taking place in the last leg of my pregnancy.  

30 weeks and all dressed up!

30 weeks in my best wedding attire!

Last weekend, at 30 weeks, we had the pleasure of attending my cousin’s wedding. Getting all dressed up while you’re expecting can be a great way to make a mommy-to-be feel a bit more glowy and beautiful than usual but it can also be pretty overwhelming in the actual getting dressed department. There’s no easy way around it, you need a bigger dress to accommodate your growing bump which in most maternity departments apparently translates to a growing height as well. I scoured stores and online for any dressy maternity option out there and even ordered a few to try out but it seems like it’s a huge feat to find the perfect formal dress for a short, pregnant woman. Just a reminder maternity stores, there are short, pregnant women out there and we only expand in the midsection not in our height when we’re expecting. So after turning maternity departments inside and out Dan joined in the efforts and we finally decided on two non-maternity but slightly stretchy dresses courtesy of Lord and Taylor. 

Getting all dressed up in my first dress was a great way to get some of my glow back after not feeling so great the past few weeks and the wedding was pretty fun too. Weddings are always tough to attend gluten free so as far as the food was considered I’m never a huge fan of wedding food since most of it is chock full of gluten but armed with gluten free snacks and at least a guaranteed gluten free main course I was ready to have some fun and celebrate the day with my cousin. It was a great way to ring in my last ten weeks of pregnancy, feeling great and surrounded by everyone we love.  

A beautiful spring day at the beach at 31 weeks!

A beautiful Spring day at the beach at 31 weeks!

With the first of our two weddings behind us and a week full of beautiful and actually slightly warm Spring days ahead we decided to treat our little family of three plus Nanny and Pop Pop to a day at the boardwalk as I turned into my 31st week. We took advantage of one of the gorgeous days and planned a quick trip to the boardwalk where we could enjoy the small aquarium, arcade games, the beach, and let’s not forget the non-gluten free boardwalk treats that I knew my little one would just love. The aquarium was a huge hit but the star of the day by far was spending a little bit of time playing on the beach. Our little girl loves the beach, water, sand, sea shells, all of it and couldn’t get enough of collecting shells and digging her hands and feet in the sand. It was tough to pull her away but I knew enticing her with lunch and a special snack would be the only thing that could beat staying on the beach. Next up, boardwalk pizza for the non-gluten free adults and as chosen by our little girl, some Kohrs orange and vanilla ice cream, a perfect choice that only her mommy would choose as well. While everyone enjoyed their boardwalk specialties I nibbled on some treats that I brought from home, again not very fun when you’re surrounded by amazing foods that look and smell delicious, especially while pregnant, but a few minutes of bliss would certainly not be worth the sickness after.

A great way to kick off my weeks in the 30s and even though I’m getting more and more tired as the days tick by I want to make sure that we always take advantage of any good weather and squeeze in special times like these. So what else is going on on the pregnancy front? Well the third trimester acid reflux and nausea are still present and accounted for but I know those will go when we meet our little girl. And even though I’m hungry almost 100% of the time, my appetite is just never quite there so eating is still a challenge but thankfully I have some of my favorite gluten free standbys that can help fill my belly from time to time.

But I guess what’s been overwhelming me the most as we’ve started down this last stretch is the anxiety about the delivery and postpartum recovery, which is becoming more and more heightened as my weeks pass by. There are always uncertainties about any birth but for my delivery it seems that there are a million open ended questions making it really hard to relax and not worry. Even though I had a c-section with my first little girl, since things didn’t go as smoothly as we had hoped we’re crossing our fingers that the stars align and our prayers are answers to have an uneventful vbac this time around. However, with the complications from my first delivery and the difficulties my venous angioma may present my doctors requested that I meet with the hospital anesthiologist to go over what happened last delivery and what the plan may be for this time around. So that was yesterday’s fun endeavor and to keep a long story short, delivering babies via a vbac with my added complications makes for a very scared mommy and daddy. Of course all of the worst case scenarios were laid out in front of us but having endured a few rare occurrences last delivery makes some of those seem more possible. So from here on it’s lots of prayers for a healthy baby but also a healthy mommy and that our delivery can be as peaceful and uneventful as we hope it will be. 

Sincerely,

Lindsay (31 weeks)

Some Magic Kingdom Love, A Dole Whip For Mommy-To-Be, & Some Kona Cafe Gluten Free Noodles To Top Our Day Off!

Looking at Disney pictures is always a love/hate relationship, loving the memories that we made but hating that we’re not there right now but as they always say if you’re doing something all of the time it’s not as special anymore. Our last full day in Disney this year we tried out a breakfast at Crystal Palace and had some relaxing time meandering through Magic Kingdom before indulging in some dinner at the Polynesian courtesy of Kona Cafe. 

Last full day of fun at Magic Kingdom!

Last full day of fun at Magic Kingdom!

We started our day off bright and early with a not-so-fun breakfast at Crystal Palace. Little one was not a fan of Winnie the Pooh and friends and I wasn’t very pleased with the gluten free food so needless to say the breakfast as a whole wasn’t a winner but thankfully it didn’t put a damper on the rest of the day. Once we finished with breakfast we were ready to explore some of the less frequented rides before our scheduled fast passes later in the day. But before the riding commenced we had to sneak in some photo time with Baby Girl #2’s first set of ears to commemorate her trip in Mommy’s belly, it was also a perfect way to announce that we were expecting a little girl. 

A special baby announcement with the help of Minnie!

A special baby announcement with the help of Minnie!

After a few pictures in the new gardens in front of the castle, we headed straight for Adventureland to enjoy some of our favorite attractions. Since we had only eaten a very light breakfast at Crystal Palace we were all more than ready for something to eat for an early lunch after a little bit of riding. Since we were in Adventureland we decided to try out Tortuga Tavern for Dan and little one while I requested a Dole Whip. They loved their nachos and cheese quesadilla and as for my Dole Whip, well let’s just say that the cup looks so much prettier when it’s filled with all of this deliciousness instead of empty. Everyone has their own way of enjoying a Dole Whip, mine is to get pineapple and vanilla swirl in pineapple juice, a huge winner for me pregnant or not pregnant! It is by far one of my favorite gluten free snacks in Disney World and a great use of a snack credit on the dining plan!

Gluten free Dole Whip, pineapple/vanilla swirl in pineapple juice!

Gluten free Dole Whip, pineapple/vanilla swirl in pineapple juice, at Aloha Isle!

Don’t worry I didn’t just eat a Dole Whip for lunch I did indulge in a few more snacks later on like Disney’s signature popcorn and roasted nuts from my favorite stand by Dumbo in Fantasyland. But in-between all of the snacking it was time to use our fastpasses for some of favorite rides like Winnie the Pooh, Little Mermaid, and Peter Pan with a few character meet and greets with Cinderella’s stepsisters and Ariel in there as well. It was a relaxing way to enjoy some time in Magic Kingdom and as our little one faded we decided to head out early, meander through some shops, and get in some pool time before our dinner later on. 

Kona Cafe Gluten Free Chicken And Noodle Dish

Kona Cafe Gluten Free Pan-Asian Noodle and Chicken Dish

After a decent size nap, little one woke up back in the room where Mommy and Daddy were doing the less fun packing to go home. So we could squeeze in a little more time packing we treated little one to a Mickey lollipop and some tv time. Finally she donned her best Ariel bathing suit and joined Daddy for some perfect pool time while Mommy was on picture duty lounging outside of the pool. She certainly loves herself some time splashing around in the pool so I’m so glad we were able to squeeze in another round before one of our most anticipated dinners at Kona Cafe. 

Before too long we were back at the Polynesian and ready for our dinner, a personal favorite for me in the gluten free department. After being seated, I was handed the new gluten free menu which I can say had both pros and cons. I definitely liked how you could see all of your options without waiting to speak to the chef and even though you can still request to speak with the chef I did feel like they didn’t really prefer you to do so now that the menu was clear. I personally always prefer to speak to someone who is knowledgeable about the food whether it’s a manager or chef but this trip I decided to forego that request and just order by the menu. I ordered my favorite Pan-Asian Noodle and Chicken dish with the Kilauea Torte for dessert and emphasized that they needed to be done very carefully and gluten free, unfortunately our waiter wasn’t very pleasant and just laughed at my request. I was so taken aback by his response that I told him that I’d get very ill and it wasn’t something to laugh about. This kind of reaction isn’t really new to me but at Disney it certainly was, so needless to say I was less than pleased with him the rest of our meal. 

Our meals arrived shortly after the bread course which is always a winner for little one and I definitely enjoy the warmed gluten free dinner rolls with the special butter too. While little one gobbled down her Mickey raviolis, a star in her book, I nibbled at my noodle dish. I have to say that this time around I think a little too much seasoning was added for my taste and it was pretty dry too, not having nearly enough sauce like it always does. I’m not sure if it was the lack of talking to the chef personally or if that was just coincidence but after our experience this time around with the waiter I’ll most certainly always be speaking with the chef from here on. Despite the little bit of a flop that my main entree took, the dessert was just as delicious as always, the chocolaty lava cake spilling over with warm chocolate sauce inside was divine. Check out one of my older reviews to catch a peak of this delicious gluten free dessert option. 

All together, our last full day was fantastic, great weather, great food, and tons of smiles and laughs, can’t ask for a better day than that. And to put the perfect finishing touch on the day we managed to make one final viewing of little one’s favorite parade. She loved everything about it, the music, the lights and floats, but by far her favorite part was waving frantically and screaming hi to every single friend she saw even getting a special hug hello from Snow White. There’s no doubt our little one is a Disney lover, I mean she watches Disney Junior daily, but watching our little two year old be so in love with a place as special as Disney World is beyond magical for her Mommy and Daddy. 

Stay tuned for our last day’s worth of treats and adventures!

Sincerely,

Lindsay (31 weeks)

 

  

 

Our Big Girl Has Made The Move To Her New Bedroom While Mommy Turns Into Her 30th Week!

Well the big move is finally upon us. With the walls painted (and aired out excessively to appease this mommy-to-be’s sensitive sense of smell haha), the dresser put together with some added personal flair, and the canopy hung in just the right spot, all that’s left to do is hem the curtains and hang some decor but nothing that keeps our little one from getting a jump on her new sleeping arrangements. We finally took the plunge and introduced her to her new abode for her Sunday afternoon nap but as could be expected the transition wasn’t completely seamless. 

Our little one loved her Bambi nursery. She felt comfortable in her toddler version of her crib with her friends all piled in around her. She knew exactly where her skirts were in her dresser and how to squeeze them out through the childproof locked hole. It was her home for over two years and now with the arrival of her little sister looming around the corner it was time to move into the room she’s been eyeing up and playing in the past two months. As her mommy I’m trying to tackle this nagging feeling of guilt that I’m sure every mommy of one with another on the way feels and that’s partly why I wanted to create a really special new space that was suited just for her. 

30 Weeks with my little girl pretending to be Mommy!

30 Weeks with my little girl pretending to be Mommy!

It’s been a labor of love for sure but after a few short weekends of work, a special little bedroom has been created for our soon-to-be big sister and she’s loving it. She loves having tea at her little tea table, hiding underneath her floral canopy, snuggling with her special shape pillows on her big girl bed, and even putting laundry away with mommy in her new dresser and closet. All of the fun that she’s having in her new room is so sweet and special to see especially since day 1 of sleeping didn’t go so well. 

We started out with a nap thinking that might be a bit easier than bedtime and boy were we wrong. After happily putting her in bed, the second we started walking away we had a little girl chasing behind us in complete terror. So we snuggled up next to her in bed and talked to her about how fun it is to be a big girl now, fending off the occasional question to go back to the “tiny baby bedroom” as she calls the nursery. It broke my heart to see how sad she was but I had a glimmer of hope when she eventually fell asleep for her first successful nap. Our big girl has certainly done us proud though because only one nighttime rest later and she was happily sleeping in her new room.

So what’s our little girl’s favorite part of her new bedroom? She seems to love every bit which makes me so happy but I’ll share some of her highlights.

A big girl bed fit for a soon-to-be big sister!

We thought this upholstered headboard from Target was just perfect for our growing girl and it just so happened to fit our budget even better. But a transition to a bigger bed wouldn’t be complete without the guard rails along the sides. We picked up a two pack at Babies R’ Us and put them on either side sans comforter for now until she gets used to the bigger and higher space. So far so good, excluding the solo falling out of bed incident the other day during nap time which I knew was bound to happen since my little girl is quite the mover, always flopping from end to end in her baby bed. Thank goodness for the Moroccan Trellis rug from RugsUSA because even though it looks fantastic it will surely give some extra padding for accidental tumbles.

A big girl bed with all of the fixings including some hidden toddler rails on the sides.

A big girl bed with all of the fixings including some hidden toddler rails on the sides.

Bedding and pillows in someone’s favorite color are probably one of her favorite parts!

We picked up the comforter and pillows from RH Baby & Child for a great deal after Christmas and we paired it all with a Target clearance pair of purple flowered sheets that match really well! The favorites by far out of this set though are the shape pillows, so much so that little one hopped down out of bed in the middle of the night to pick up the two pillows that I put down at the bottom as a just-in-case cushion for a fall. She loves to snuggle with the velvet shapes with the heart being her number one even using it to say I love you to her mommy. 

Gorgeous lilac bedding thanks to RH Baby And Child.

Gorgeous lilac bedding thanks to RH Baby And Child.

A new look for her name, with a little creative help from the big girl herself!

These letters hung proudly above her crib in pink for quite some time but we knew we wanted to still include them in her new room with a new look. So I scoured all of the craft stores for just the right purple spray paint and found this gorgeous lilac at Joann’s. To add a little something extra too I thought I could glue some flowers to the letters themselves, so with little one in tow we picked out a multipack of flowers in different patterns and shapes that seemed to go with the paint color perfectly, great choice little one!

Lilac letters with floral accents.

Lilac letters with floral accents.

What a difference changing a light makes!

The addition of this cute little chandelier from Kohls was perfect and I’m so glad we decided to swap out the ceiling fan for this one. The smaller size and lighter features of this light are perfectly suited for the smaller room making it much lighter, brighter, and a lot more girly too!

A miniature chandelier with flowers and crystals galore.

A miniature chandelier with flowers and crystals galore.

A little twist on an Ikea dresser makes it that much more special! 

After doing our fair share of furniture shopping over the years we’ve gotten a pretty good idea of how expensive bedroom sets can be, hence why we tried to piecemeal her room as much as possible. Going with the single headboard from Target and a BJs bed frame was a great move to downsize on the cost there but dressers seem to be expensive no matter where you go. So after some scouring online we finally found a reasonable fit for our budget and as a bonus, one that we could tweak a little to make it a little more unique. We decided on a white Hemnes dresser from Ikea that was comparable if not bigger than her dresser in the nursery and we knew we wanted to add a personal touch to it in some way. I came across this fantastic company called o’verlays who sell kits of different wooden cutouts to attach to all different Ikea pieces, a genius idea in my opinion. So we ordered the Jasmine kit, spray painted the overlays and all of the knobs a shiny gold, and voila, a new dresser was born! This is one of Mommy’s favorites!

A revamped Ikea dresser with a few overlays and some spray paint!

A revamped Ikea dresser with a few overlays and some spray paint!

For now those are just some of the highlights from the room but I’ll be sure to share the final product in all of it’s decorated glory once the odds and ends are tied together. I just picked a mixture of white, gold, and lilac frames to hang up, along with hemming the curtains, and a little idea I have to tweak the play table once more. I just loved putting this room together for my little best friend and it makes me even happier that she loves it just as much as we do.

For a little pregnancy update, I’m 30 weeks now and baby and mommy are doing pretty well. Mommy has been feeling pretty sick again with lots of acid reflux, so some daily Zantac is a must, along with some nausea and a very picky appetite again but other than that I’m doing pretty well. We took little one to my appointment this week to hear her sister’s heartbeat for the first time and boy was she in shock. I’m pretty sure she didn’t quite get the concept of a heartbeat but an adorable excited grin spread across her face as she heard the rhythmic thumping. I’m so excited for her to meet this little girl and finally see what we’ve been talking about all of the time. But for now I’m in the midst of meeting with the anesthiologist like I had to with my first pregnancy to go over things beforehand in terms of safety with my venous angioma. I’m not a huge fan at all of these added meetings but they’re a must for me so no negotiations there, I just wish they didn’t cause even more anxiety about the big day but that’s inevitable. More updates will come after our meeting with the anesthiologist next week and a few bump pictures as well!

Sincerely,

Lindsay (30 weeks) 

Baby Will Be Here Before We Know It, What Do We Have Left To Get From Our Wish List?

30 weeks down and 10 to go! We’re officially in countdown mode until we get to meet this little girl! As far as prep for her arrival, we’re definitely in a pretty good spot right now but we have plenty left to do that’s for sure. With the big girl room finally complete, excluding some decorating, no worries I will definitely share the final product when the last frame has been hung, and our little one moved into her new room earlier this week, we’re now moving on to everything baby. So what’s left on our must purchase/get set up list before baby makes her grand entrance?  

  • Tweaking the nursery with a few new odds and ends….we’ve purchased her letters for her name and painted and decorated them for hanging so we’re almost there on this front
  • Cleaning and setting up the baby equipment, i.e. swing, bouncer, pack and play, bassinet (our house is about to shrink when all of this arrives so we’re taking our time here)
  • To keep an eye on our big girl in her new room along with our new baby in her nursery, we purchased a two camera video monitor by Summer Infant and so far we’re loving it. Even though our little girl is two, she’s an adventurous little soul that we worry about when she’s left to her own devices, especially in her new space, so for us this monitor system was a must. We can now keep an eye on both of our little girls while they rest or sometimes not rest in their rooms with just one monitor and two cameras that you can move around remotely! So far, we love this new system and can certainly see how it’ll come in handy when we have another little resident in the house. I’ll share a better review once we use the dual feature this monitor is intended for so stay tuned!
New Summer Infant Monitor that we picked up from Kohls!

New Summer Infant Monitor that we picked up from Kohls!

  • Thanks to an amazing Mother’s Day special we picked up these Carseat Canopies that I just love! With a winter baby coming first we’re well-versed on wrapping her and the car seat up in blankets to prevent the cold from touching her, and while we certainly made it work with blankets, the constant repositioning and catching of the blankets was not very much fun. So this time around we took advantage of this great offer and picked up the Angelina and Belle Carseat Canopies that hook onto your car seat handle preventing them from falling and keeping them in just the right spot for front and back coverage from the sun and winter wind. Stay tuned for an actual review when baby makes her appearance!
Carseat Canopy perfect for keeping the cold and sun off your little one!

Carseat Canopy perfect for keeping the cold and sun off your little one!

  • We still need to get a new baby sling, so any recommendations on your favorites let us know!
  • We’re all set for now in the double stroller department thanks to a hand me down from my sister. She swore by her Joovy Sit And Stand stroller that we inherited so we’re super excited to see how it works for our girls. In the not so distant future we plan on picking up a Joovy side-by-side double stroller that would be perfect for our adventures next summer with the girls but for now we’re all set with my sister’s favorite! Thanks Courtney!

The list is certainly longer when I include all of the preparations for the delivery day, but as far as the major stuff I think we’re almost there! 

Sincerely,

Lindsay (30 weeks)

 

Back To Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival 2015 For A Lot More Flowers & A Tasty Gluten Free Dinner

Since our previous day at Epcot was on the chillier side we wanted to make sure we got back over there to enjoy the flowers, butterflies, and characters in a little bit of a warmer climate and thankfully we picked the perfect day for all of that. With the sun out and a little bit of a cool breeze first thing in the morning, we were off to explore some of the countries we missed the first time around and even squeeze in some of little one’s favorite rides! Before the World Showcase opened we finally made our way on Spaceship Earth which we had the pleasure of riding in French (makes for a funny ride and after story that’s for sure lol), Nemo and the aquarium which our little one loved exploring on her own, the butterfly garden which was just as much fun this time around as it was the first time, and I can’t forget our second visit to see Mickey, Goofy, and Minnie, friends that little one just had to revisit. 

Mommy & little one love by the butterfly topiaries!

Mommy & little one love by the butterfly topiaries!

Once the World Showcase had opened it was time for us to head over and venture through some of the countries little one had slept through on our first Epcot day. Mexico was a big hit with the Donald featured boat ride along with actually getting to see the big guy himself right outside. Then we were onto Norway which was the perfect pit stop for a light lunch along with a sweet treat, not for myself unfortunately, sorry gluten free folks out there, but a winner for my daughter and husband. With someone’s belly filled with a little sandwich and a lot a sweet pastry, we were on our way again to explore a couple more countries before our planned early dinner in Italy.

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Lunch at Epcot’s Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar started with some SPECTACULAR gluten free bread by Rotella’s Italian Bakery.

After a fun filled morning, little one decided to close her eyes for a bit after an impromptu Snow White visit. While little one napped, Mommy and Daddy wondered through some gift shops and then parked in a perfectly shaded spot next to the lake to enjoy the cool breeze that almost put us down for our naps too. Before long, we were all up and going again and decided to head in for an early dinner at Tutto Gusto, the wine cellar in Italy that’s become by far of our favorite dining locations in Epcot. We were seated quickly and greeted by our waitress who brought along the manager to take my gluten free order. Not surprisingly I went with my usual favorite of Gluten Free Pasta Pomodoro with the Chocolate Cherry Panna Cotta for dessert, but not without a starter of gluten free bread.

The non-gluten free bread sticks and focaccia arrived for Dan and little one which made a certain somebody a happy camper with a bread stick in one hand and a cup of apple juice in the other. Not too long after, my plate arrived with some very appetizing new gluten free bread that I hadn’t had before. After some inquiries I found out that they weren’t too pleased with their previous gluten free offerings so they had chosen to go with a new brand of gluten free bread by Rotella’s Italian Bakery. This bread was by far the best gluten free bread I’ve ever had! It was fresh, soft, not crumbly in the slightest bit, and had some pull just like a normal slice of bread. It was SPECTACULAR, so much so I’ve already inquired on their website about hopefully ordering some for my enjoyment at home.  

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Gluten Free Pasta Pomodoro courtesy of Epcot’s Tutto Gusto!

The gluten free bread was soon finished and this mommy-to-be couldn’t get over the sense of euphoria that the delectable bread put me in. It really was such a treat to enjoy a truly phenomenal gluten free bread that required no preparation and was just pulled straight from the bag! Anyway, soon after the bread delivery our main courses arrived and my Gluten Free Pasta Pomodoro looked just as delicious as always, so much so that little one decided to share my pasta with me instead of even tasting her chicken fingers. The pasta was cooked perfectly and was enveloped in a delicious tomato sauce with chunks of tomato and bits of burrata cheese scattered throughout. This is a perfect way to enjoy gluten free pasta and will keep us coming back for many trips to come. 

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A Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Panna Cotta is the perfect way to end a meal at Tutto Gusto!

And without further delay, my chocolaty dessert arrived making mommy and baby very happy. The Chocolate Cherry Panna Cotta is an amazing example of a gluten free dessert that goes above and beyond offering a plate of fruit or cup of sorbet. The cherries on top are delicious of course but the star for me is the chocolate panna cotta below which is light and airy but creamy at the same time, a delicious treat for any diner but especially a gluten free one who rarely gets to indulge in desserts like these. 

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Mommy, Daddy, and Baby #2 while little one slept before dinner!

Dinner at Tutto Gusto was as always perfection. The staff there are phenomenal and perfectly attentive to the needs of a gluten free diner along with a little toddler who loves to say hello and show off her coloring and play-doh masterpieces. With another amazing meal under our belts at Tutto Gusto, it’s now become a must do dining experience with every vacation.

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A perfect ending to our Epcot experience during our 2015 Disney Vacation.

Since we had finished with dinner a bit earlier than usual we took our time meandering back through the rest of the countries and decided to hop on the monorail to enjoy some Magic Kingdom fun along with the parade later on that night. Our day in Epcot was such a relaxing one, allowing us to enjoy the warmer weather while exploring all of the Flower and Garden festivities with some Epcot fun in-between. We’re Epcot lovers so a little extra time there was perfect and definitely topped off an already special trip. 

Sincerely,

Lindsay (30 weeks)

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